I started playing this the other day and so far I think it's a great game. I'll post something more once I get through it further or finish.
I got it as well. Took forever to find since Bestbuy and Circuit City didn't carry it at all (nobody had even heard of it). Finally grabbed it, but I've only been able to play for about 1-2 hours so far, been busy. I'll post as well when I am further into it. Curious what other people think about it, but I agree - so far its cool. Controls and combat took a little getting used to for me though. I tried all 3 camera styles which took some time.
I settled on using the 'Over The Shoulder' (OTS) camera so that the controls worked similar to the way they do in most MMO's. Combat seemed odd to me at the start but once accustomed to it I think it works well.
I tried OTS first since it uses WASD to move, but it was too close and I couldn't see a damn thing. Was tricky to turn around as well. I didn't like how moving the mouse moved the camera too - have to hold shift to click on anything in the UI.
I've been using the low camera (forget the name) which gives you the option of using WASD or clicking to move. Moving the mouse doesn't move the camera either so I've been happy with it.
I promised more info so I'll post a bit more here before I do a full write up. Combat seemed a bit over simplified at first but once I got used to it things seemed to flow very naturally. The quests are interesting. In addition to kill quests which have you collecting bounties for certain monsters or bosses there are a large number of story quests in which you talk to people to figure out what is going on, and decide what side/action to take.
There appears to be a great deal of choice offered to players regarding what side of things they want to be on. Only a second play through will reveal if those choices are meaningful or not.
Skill advancement is somewhat unimportant. As you level up you will learn nearly every skill available in the game so there aren't really different character types to try or different paths for development. The only difference between one character and another in the end is the order in which they learned their skills.
The world is gorgeous and although you can't travel anywhere you want as you would in a sandbox game the sections of the world that open up as you progress are large enough to let you do some exploring.
I would have probably rated the game the best RPG I had ever played right up until chapter 4 or 5. At this point some flaws in the game began to appear. Several times I managed to lock the game up during combat. My character would be pinned between a monster and an obstacle and I would be unable to move or attack. I would get locked into an attack animation that would never finish or let me abort it. So my character would sit there twitching until he died and I would have to reload the game.
There are a lot of loading screens and they are not brief. Every time you travel into/out of a building or to another map region there is a long delay as the next section is loaded. This load screen can take anywhere from 10-15 seconds to a minute or more. Fortunately most of the time you can play on a single map for hours so the loading screens are not encountered so often that they drive you insane.
My final issue with the game has been the real heartbreaker. At the point I have reached in the game I have found that I cannot advance any further in the story until I speak to a particular NPC. Every other task has been completed and all other areas explored but I need an item from this particular person to wrap up one of the main quests. This person has gone MIA. I have searched where he is supposed to be and all around the surrounding area, and I have done so at all hours of day and night (npc's follow schedules where they appear in certain areas at specific times) but I cannot find him. It has been more than a week in game time and he still hasn't turned up.
This would be enough for me to axe a game and start spewing hellfire and brimstone if it weren't for one nagging doubt… I think, it just might be possible, that I killed the NPC I am looking for… The NPC in question is a frogman called a Vodyanoi. In the area where he appears there also sometimes appear hostile vodyanoi who look very similar. I remember running into a pack of the hostile variety while exploring the beach near his shrine one night. I also remember that one of the vodyanoi I fought acted strangely. He kept running away as I tried to kill him. Naturally I didn't let a little thing like that stop me and I chased him down until he was dead. Now, after searching for this guy for a while now I wonder if maybe I didn't manage to kill him unintentionally because he showed up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sooner or later I'll have to load an old save of the game and see if that was the case or not but for the moment I've set the game aside out of frustration. I will come back to it eventually though and possibly start over at the beginning to see what happens if I make different choices.